After a few trips of trying to get the perfect California Grill reservation (typically the only reservation the Itinerary Planning Office ever had issues with), we finally got it for our December 2012 vacation!! We were often able to get late reservations, but half of the ambience of California Grill is the spectacular view of Magic Kingdom and the fireworks! The restaurant is on the top floor of the Magic Kingdom adjacent Contemporary Resort, how could the view not be amazing? After all the build-up, was it worth it?
Yes and no. This was partially our fault, though. We weren’t quite hungry enough to really indulge, and that’s what this restaurant is…an indulgence. We ate a little too late of a lunch at Beaches and Cream, and even though we shared plates there, we still weren’t overly hungry when we got to California Grill. In addition, the dinner is also an indulgence for your wallet, especially if you’re planning to eat a few courses. With the difficulty in securing prime reservations here, I’d definitely return for special occasions, but it wouldn’t be on my must-do every trip list.
That said, everything we did have room in our tummies for was delicious!! Of course, the view is amazing!!
This was my birthday dinner, so I did indulge a bit ordering the steak. Everyone else had the flatbread appetizer as a meal (and still couldn’t finish those!). Our server brought out a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert. Although I’m not a drinker, I was feeling a little nostalgic for Italy, so I ordered limoncello after dessert. Yeah, I had to share it. Wow! It did warm me up for the slightly chilly evening, though.
For those guests not seated at or near the windows facing Magic Kingdom, there are two observation decks outside the restaurant. Stitchy-poo and I enjoyed the fireworks from the deck while my mom and gma watched from our table.
California Grill was totally re-imagined in 2013 and boasts some great new decor and delectables with the same attention to detail and Disney service. Hope to update with pics and experiences soon!